Why Black TikTok Creators Are Refusing To Dance To Megan Thee Stallion's New Song

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Megan Thee Stallion

When Erik Louis’s tongue-in-cheek TikTok video to Megan Thee Stallion’s new song went semi-viral, he started a movement.

Louis’s video shows him nodding along, below words that read, “Made a dance to this song,” before he flips off the camera and adds, “Sike, this app would be nothing without blk people.”

The video is a clear expression of the growing frustration among Black TikTok creators over the appropriation of their dance trends. 

And as the video spread across other social media platforms, these creators are once again asking for recognition for their role in the virality of TikTok trends and songs. 

Why Black TikTokers are boycotting Megan Thee Stallion’s new song.

TikTok has become an easy source of marketing for the music industry. Want a hit song? Make it go viral on TikTok. 

Megan Thee Stallion, as TikTok’s most listened to artist in 2020, knows this better than anyone. Her new song “Thot S***” choreographs a dance trend in its lyrics as she tells fans to place their hands on their knees and twerk. 

But the boycott by Black creators is less of an attack on the rap artist and more of a comment on the white creators on the app. 

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Black creators want credit for their work. 

The strike is intended to make non-Black creators and users on the app rethink how they credit and collaborate with Black creators. 

Black users have repeatedly expressed frustration at being the creators of many viral dance trends but reaping very few of the benefits. 

Take Megan Thee Stallion’s viral “Savage Remix,” for example. The viral dance trend was created by Keara Wilson. Yet, when you look under the sound on the app, the most viewed videos are by white creators like Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae. 

Worse still, most of these videos, which rack up over 10 million likes, don’t even credit Wilson as the creator of the dance. 

Black creators are frustrated with being the brains and creativity behind trends that have made stars out of white TikTokers.

“For all my melanated brothers and sisters of the African diaspora, we are on strike, we are not making a dance for Thot S***, we are just going to let them keep flailing,” one user said in a video last week, referring to white users. “It just shows how much you need us to make a dance.”

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Dance appropriation is a wider issue on TikTok. 

This isn’t the only time Black TikTok creators have voiced their frustration with the lack of accreditation on the app. 

Similar grievances were expressed earlier this year when Addison Rae appeared on Jimmy Fallon to perform several dances created by Black creators. Yet again, no credit was given until a later episode after Fallon received backlash for the segment. 

And while the lack of credit has blocked Black creators from accessing the same lucrative brand deal and partnerships as their white counterparts, the issue runs deeper than followers and likes. 

Black creatives have been historically marginalized, their work appropriated, and their creativity overlooked. 

The dynamics on TikTok mean Black people put in the work and non-Black social media stars get all the benefits. These creators commodify Black culture without doing anything to elevate it. 

The strike shines a light on white people’s entitlement to Black culture and questions how they will operate without it.

Black creators are drawing a line, creating boundaries between their work and those who appropriate it. 

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her Twitter for more.